"trying" is a futile word

You laugh in the face of the thunderstorm, while I thirst for its rain. You scoff at the black, dusty earth, but you forget that all roots are buried within it. You eat the fruits of the land with relish, but sneer at the bruises on their flesh. Locusts come. You don’t care. You are proud to call yourself a farmer. The bruises come from your hand.


Trying is a futile word, reserved for boys learning to ride bicycles and students winning good grades. It’s not for me, who’s done all possible to make this thing work, waiting for an act of God to push the power switch. ON. That’s the signal I’m waiting for, while I learn to be satisfied with the OFF if that’s all there is for me. Is my lightbulb broken?


I dig my hands into soil, black and rich. It smells, it looks, it feels fertile. Nothing grows. Dirt gathers under my fingernails, and the sunshine is hot on the back of my neck and arms. I sweat. I pray. But when nighttime comes, my hands come up black and empty.

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